News in a nutshell: Some more TCM Film Festival news, what’s coming to a few Los Angeles museums, a Kickstarter you might be interested in supporting, and what’s new on DVD and Blu.
If you live in or plan on visiting the Los Angeles area in the new few weeks, take a stop by the Billy Wilder Theatre as they pay tribute to the master of excess, director Cecil B. DeMille. Get up close and personal – pun intended – with screenings of several of DeMille’s most prominent features, such as The Plainsman (1937), Union Pacific (1939), and The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). Special guests will be on hand for select screenings. You can find ticket information and a list of upcoming showtimes at the UCLA website.
Also in Los Angeles, and coinciding perfectly with the upcoming Academy Awards and TCM Film Festival, the Hollywood Museum will be putting on a new exhibition honoring entertainment awards. “Celebration of Entertainment Awards” will be honoring all things awards-worthy and will have several iconic costumes on display, including Judy Garland’s dress from A Star is Born (1954) and a costume worn by Shirley Temple in Curly Top (1935), several statuettes from past winners, and a life-size model of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). The exhibition runs through April 26th. More information can be found at the Hollywood Museum website. You can look at my past TCM Film Fest coverage for photos taken during my trip to the Hollywood Museum.
Fans of classic film distributor Kino, or those intrigued in supporting landmarks in classic cinema, take note. Kino is currently running a Kickstarter to fund Pioneers in African-American Cinema, what’s hoped to be the “most comprehensive collection of early African-American cinema ever assembled.” $35,000 is their goal and Kino’s almost there with 37 days to go. The perks for contributors is pretty nifty, from a thank-you, free streaming or DVDs, a copy of Pioneers once completed, and more. If you’re interested in supporting the project, here’s the link to Kino’s Kickstarter.
A regular feature of the TCM Classic Film Festival is the Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival series, where host Robert Osborne interviews a prominent celebrity with deep ties to the classic film industry, in front of a live audience, during the festival. Past recipients include Kim Novak, Eva Marie Saint, and last year’s interview subject – to air this year during the fest – Alan Arkin. With so many amazing celebrities coming to this year’s festival, like Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Ann-Margret, audiences expected a pretty big name for the Conversation this year. Big name, indeed, as TCM’s announced Sophia Loren: Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival. Loren will sit down with Osborne, March 28th, and the interview will air on TCM in spring of 2016. Loren will also be on tap for a screening of Marriage Italian Style (1964). I missed Arkin’s interview last year due to where the venue was located, a fear I hope won’t be a problem this time around. I’ll be on tap covering the Festival as one of TCM’s Social Producers – yes, you heard that right! – so here’s hoping I get to be in the presence of Ms. Loren. The TCM Classic Film Festival is March 26th-29th.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Warner Archive: It’s been awhile since Warner Archive released a Blu-ray and this week they’re going literary with the adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd (1967) starring Julie Christie. This seems rather timely considering Hollywood is turning to the material again with a release in May. (Carey Mulligan plays the Christie role this time around.) Special features on the Blu include a featurette and trailer. The studio’s also releasing three titles starring James Stewart and Spencer Tracy: They Gave Him a Gun (1937), The Murder Man (1935), and Speed (1936). All of these can be purchased, on-demand, at Warner Archive’s website.